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Josie Cino - November 10th, 2014

Why Binge-Watching is a Big Deal for Brands

Binge-watching has become a massive trend. If you’re a fan of Orange is the New Black, Mad Men, The Walking Dead or Sons of Anarchy – then you know what I’m talking about. Not only has it changed the television viewing process but our perception of the activity has also changed. Many of us used to think spending hours watching TV on the couch was a waste of time. Now we view it as quality time spent, watching content that is as valuable as it is entertaining. Binge-watching allows us to immerse ourselves in a show from start to finish. There’s no reluctance of having to sit through commercials or worry about missing a show.

Along with all this change, it’s no surprise that brand advertising is adapting to fit the mould of binge-watching. Annalect, Omnicom Media Group’s marketing technology platform found that two-thirds of TV viewers’ binge-view frequently during prime time. More than half also said they would continue to binge-view as more shows are created. This means that marketers and advertisers need to figure out how to reach this mass audience.

Instead of 30 second commercial spots, brands are being placed into programs as part of the storyline. Characters are shown interacting with products during an episode without disrupting the core message. Interactive ads are also a neat way to attract viewers. Hulu teamed up with Pizza Hut to create an interactive ad where Hulu viewers could place an order right from their computer without leaving the Hulu site. This form of advertising works because it gives users the convenience of ordering food without having to stop watching their show.

Social media is another way that brands can partner up with television programs. Brands can offer content that will enrich a viewer’s experience, like trivia or facts. Or create a Promoted Tweet with the show’s hashtag to participate in online conversations. Partnering up with television programs can build brand awareness while generating excitement.

Binge-watching is changing traditional media. Think about where your customers are online, what they’re watching and how they are spending their time. Doing so can open the doors to new advertising opportunities that are worth exploring.